President-principal leadership model announced for new Mother Seton Academy

Children from St. Aloysius School, Jackson, and St. Veronica School, Howell, come together for a Catholic Schools Week Mass earlier this year. The two schools are being merged under one name – Mother Seton Academy – and will have a president-principal leadership model.  John Batkowski photo
Children from St. Aloysius School, Jackson, and St. Veronica School, Howell, come together for a Catholic Schools Week Mass earlier this year. The two schools are being merged under one name – Mother Seton Academy – and will have a president-principal leadership model.John Batkowski photo

With the upcoming merger of St. Aloysius School, Jackson, and St. Veronica School, Howell, into Mother Seton Academy, pastors of the two faith communities have announced in a joint letter to families a two-person leadership model for the new institution.

“With every new beginning, there are opportunities for excellence that can be grasped only with bold moves forward,” the pastors wrote in detailing a new president-principal model. “This innovative choice gives us the best talents of two leaders carrying our academy and its children into an environment of 21st century education.”

Following extensive collaboration and discussion, pastors of the two parishes – Father John Bambrick of St. Aloysius and Father Vincent Euk of St. Veronica – explained that Resurrection Sister Cherree Ann Power, currently principal in St. Veronica School, will become president of Mother Seton Academy. Kathleen Blazewicz, current principal of All Saints Regional Catholic School, Manahawkin, will become Mother Seton Academy’s principal. Mother Seton Academy will utilize the St. Veronica School campus.

JoAnn Tier, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools, joined both pastors in recognizing the benefits that can be attained with the elementary president-principal model. “The experience and dedication of Sister Cherree and Kathleen Blazewicz will contribute to a unique leadership model that is centered in the Catholic faith while celebrating innovation in 21st century learning.”

The president, Father Bambrick and Father Euk explained, will “oversee and promote the academy in the areas of Catholicity, religion curriculum, marketing, development, public relations and facilities, and will be the public face of the academy. There could be no better choice for president than Sister Cherree Ann Power with her 44 years of leadership in the world of Catholic education. She brings continuity and new vision.”

Sister Cherree spent 15 years in Catholic elementary education in New York state and Trenton. She was principal of St. Francis School, Newburgh, N.Y., for two years and is in her 27th year as principal in St. Veronica School. She earned her associate’s degree in early childhood education in 1975 from Maria College, Albany, N.Y.; a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1982 and a master’s degree in education/reading specialist certification in 1988, both from Georgian Court College (now University), Lakewood; and a certification in school administration/supervision in 1992 from Manhattan College, Riverdale, N.Y.

Blazewicz, Mother Seton Academy’s principal “shall have the sole responsibility to oversee curriculum and extra-curricular activities,” the pastors noted. “The principal will be responsible for the daily operations of the school and be the point of contact with students, teachers and parents. The principal will collaborate closely with the president to move forward the bold vision of the academy. We enthusiastically welcome the strong leadership skills of Kathleen Blazewicz. … She is viewed as a creative and innovative principal.”

Blazewicz has served in Catholic education since 1979. She has worked as a teacher, technology director and vice-principal in the former Holy Family School, Lakewood, and has been principal of ASRCS since 2015. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education/special education from University of Delaware, Newark, Del. in 1978; a master’s degree in administration and leadership, and a certificate in school business administration, both from Georgian Court University in 2015. Her certifications include principal and supervisor; Legal One Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying certificate, and New Jersey Leadership Academy: FEA, NJSA and NJPSA.

“The president/principal model assures the long term growth of Mother Seton Academy,” wrote Father Bambrick and Father Euk, “and the talent of Sister Cherree and Kathleen Blazewicz assures us the future is bright indeed!”

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